The Xbox Was As Close As We Got To A Dreamcast 2

The Xbox is 10 years old this week. For those who have enjoyed playing games on either the original console or its successor the Xbox 360, it's a time for heartfelt congratulations.

For Sega fans, it's a time for warm, if slightly tragic, reflection.

By the time the Xbox was released in November 2001, Segas' final console after over 20 years in the hardware business had already been killed off, the Dreamcast discontinued in March that same year.

But in many ways, the first years of the Xbox were like a swansong for the Dreamcast. An epilogue of sorts. Here's how:

The Games: Though the Dreamcast died in 2001, many of its biggest and best games lived on courtesy of the Xbox. Sprawling RPG epic Shenmue saw its sequel find a home on not just the Dreamcast but the Xbox as well, while Jet Set Radio was remade and retooled for Microsoft's console. Perhaps most important for the fortunes of the Xbox, though, was the transition made when Dreamcast title Metropolis Street Racer saw its spiritual successor arrive with Microsoft in the form of Project Gotham Racing.

The Controller: Unlike its competition at the time, Microsoft had no previous controller design to build upon when coming up with the Xbox, so the company had to look elsewhere for inspiration. It looked to the Dreamcast, where it got the A, B, X & Y buttons, their colours (though their placement was swapped), two true analogue triggers and two expansion slots. What's cool about this is that because the Xbox 360's pad is so similar to the Xbox's S controller, the Dreamcast inspiration lives on to this day in Microsoft's machine.

The Windows: This one actually works in reverse. The Dreamcast was a testbed of sorts for Microsoft, with some of the console's games running on a custom version of Windows CE. When the Xbox arrived three years after the Dreamcast, you could say it was a more successful implementation of lessons learned with Sega.

The Man: Peter Moore, currently of EA, was in a previous life the president and COO of Sega of America. He was one of the first prominent video game executives, playing a big part in the launch of the Dreamcast. Yet he was also the man who not only ultimately killed Sega's final console, but was also responsible for series like Shenmue appearing on what would have been rival machines.

While this made him a little unpopular at the time, in 2003 he was hired by Microsoft, bringing his role in the demise of the Dreamcast full circle.

So there we go! The Xbox was hardly a proper Dreamcast 2, I know, but it was more of a swansong than most other dead machines could have hoped for. So for nostalgic Sega fans, there's at least that to be...thankful for? At least, as thankful as bitter old Sega fans can get, anyway.

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

Comments

    There were massive similarities between the dreamcast and Xbox in my opinion and it's prob one of the reasons I loved it so much after being a massive fan of the dreamcast (and still owning one)

    Yeah Peter Moore is a bit of a douche really.

    RIP.

    Love to see Sega get back in there. I mean with Nintendo in the poop these days, would be perfect to reclaim what they previously held. Wouldn't take much to beat the 360 in the Asian market for Sega of course.

      How is Nintendo in the poop?

      I actually wish that Nintendo would buy SegaSammy outright, and do something great with all Sega's IP - Mega Vs Super Smash Bros. anyone?

        that already happens, and alot did happen. Sonic was in SSBB.

    Not to forget, the last Panzer Dragoon game found its way to Xbox as well. I want another Panzer Dragoon game - maybe they could use Kinect as well.

      That would be amazing. I loved PDO. I still would be loving it, but...

      Lesson for all those who keep their games in a CD wallet: It's much easier to steal an entire collection of games if you can just slot them into the case of the laptop you're also stealing.

      *Sigh*

    All that picture says to me is, Shenmue3 on Xbox360, Published by EA!

      LOL! I'm tipping it as a launch game for Xbox 3

      Actually speaking of which - I've read a suggestion before (and it was a good one) that Microsoft should sell the next Xbox in Japan under the Sega brand to gain some traction in that market.

    extra similarities - the triggers on the controller - 4 controller ports as standard - online access - 2 add-on ports on the controller

    I still play my dreamcast each week. Replaying all the Tony Hawks at the moment. The first Tony Hawk looks awesome compared to the PSX version i first played.

    Not to mention rampart piracy on both which I know killed of the dramcast and proberly caude microsoft to release the 360 so quickly in a halfbaked state (rrod).Every one I knew had an upraded 120 gig hard drive full of pirated games on the xbox and all the dreamcast users i knew had cd wallets full of self booting games that did'nt even need a mod chip.

      I have a modded xbox1 and it's still used as a media centre and emulation box. It's great! I've more than made it up to Microsoft since then with how many 360 games I've bought and my xbox live fees. My xbox1 gets used more than my 360 though due to xbmc

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